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TOC_Admin

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have been involved with running the Tiger Owners Club forum since 2000.  Initially, it was hosted as a free mailing list on eGroups, which became Yahoo Groups.  In 2006, by majority consensus, it was moved to a forum hosting provider, Website Toolbox, and I took on full responsibility for running this in 2010 and have put in countless hours of my own time towards the cause.

The Tiger Owners Club and forum is entirely self-funded with no support from Tiger Racing and therefore has a reliance on donations towards the operating costs, with any shortfall coming from my own pocket.

In the past year, despite having over 250 active members, there has only been a single donation towards the running costs.  Whilst any donation is very much appreciated, in reality, this barely scratches the surface.


Whilst I have worked hard to reduce the operating costs over the past 10 years, which are now around 40% the level they were in 2010, and despite many generous donations over the period, I have still had to personally put in over £1,200 during this time to keep things running.

I have just renewed the annual forum hosting subscription and have topped up the forum hosting page view credit account, which should cover things until around the end of 2020.


Unfortunately, with some recent posts and PM’s, I have realised that all the enjoyment has gone from running the forum and this is now just a chore with a financial burden.

I now feel it is time to step down and look forward to thoughts and comments on where we go from here.

Paul, Forum Admin

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Abe

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Reply with quote  #2 
Really sorry to hear that Paul. I can see you’ve put a lot of time, effort and money into this forum. I’m going to have a think 🤔
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JimM

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Paul,
If donations were to flow once more to address the costs would you still be willing to support the forum.
You have done an excellent job over the years and would be very difficult to replace.
If so, what cost should each member look to donate to help keep the forum active?
cheers
Jim.

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TigerEd

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi, sorry you feel this way, you do a great job of what is difficult and very time consuming. I remember a few years back donations were asked for to help fund the forum, I like many other would be glad to donate to keep it running but didn't realise the costs involved.
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Abe

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Reply with quote  #5 
Why not incorporate a yearly membership? It’s a good resource and I’ve really enjoyed my time on here, even more so during lockdown.
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snippy

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Reply with quote  #6 
This is such a shame to hear Paul but can I thank you for your efforts and loyalty to this forum over the countless years if you do in deed leave. I am guilty as charged for not contributing like many of us. I`ve just searched for `donations` though and haven`t found a link of how to do this? Just curious what people need to do? Can you signpost a link to a thread?
Whoever takes this forward, as a thought, if we are a 250 strong community and each member had to contribute yearly either at the start of the year or start of the Financial year this would mean the moderator would not be out of pocket. A £10 contribution would generate £2,500 or £5 generates £1250. I would be happy to make a yearly contribution to maintain my membership. 
I remember your old Tiger club Paul known as B.o.t.t.e.m! Still makes me chuckle. 

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Grego228

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Reply with quote  #7 
Don't visit the site much but happy to contribute/donate as a great forum and very helpful members
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Woody_7

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hi paul
Really sorry to hear that you are going to step down but can understand what you are saying. I am one of your newer members but have found the forum very helpful and has a good crowd on here which has only come about because of your hard work. I would be happy to donate to help with the costs as I think many others would. I hope that we can make you reconsider. I must admit I am also guilty of just sitting back and not realising the cost involved of the running costs.
Lawrence 

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Schrodinger

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi Paul I think we have both been around the various incarnations of this group about the same length of time even though I no longer own a Tiger I frequently refer to this site either for general reference , to see what others are doing or to offer help and I know you have helped me on numerous occasions. Over the years there have been one or two subscribers who have got a bit "mouthy" and I understand what you are saying, I also know that you had a very comprehensive website of your own with lots of info re the Zetec install which for some reason or another you were criticised over and you took a lot of that website offline, to the loss of almost everybody.
I notice that there was a post a couple of days ago again criticising your view and you as a person which I was going to comment on but it was deleted before I had a chance, it was not very polite to say the least and seemed to come from somebody with high opinions of himself. 
I realise it is not just the money aspect that is turning you off the site but would say as far as I am concerned you have always been an knowledgeable asset to the forum and if you do leave it will be a sad day.

On a more general note I think that everybody on this forum should think twice before they offer any criticism and think "would I use the same language face to face" with the intended recipient if not don't say it!

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Navigiter

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Reply with quote  #10 

It is a huge disappointment because I have learned so much about Tigers. However, having run a Society website in the past I understand the time & effort that is required. Everyone has a shedful of commitments these days and remembering to contribute is a problem in itself.

The best practical way to ensure that fair reimbursement is maintained is, as suggested by Abe, to have a membership with an annual reminder to pay the subs. Failure to contribute should mean restriction in access one way or the other. 

Setting up a “Club” up is of course another administrative task in addition to the website but it is a worthwhile commitment if somebody can make such an offer. The website I set up and ran for a few years was taken over with my grateful consent by an enthusiastic, much younger and, is has to be said, more knowledgable Society member than I.

I understands Paul's decision and thank him for his immeasurable contribution to the Tiger cause, whether or not the decision is final; thank you.

Navigiter.

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JT

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hi paul
As a relatively new member I've found this forum very useful.
I'm sorry to hear its all become such a burden. I would be happy to pay a yearly subscription and feel its a must based on what its cost you in recent times. 10 pounds a year seems a sensible amount. Kit net which is the closest to me, charge 15 and have a pretty flash site.
Thanks for all you've done and if you don't carry it on i hope somebody else will.
All the best
JT
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SteveCatE1

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hi Paul.

I am a very new Tiger owner and a new member to this forum and you have already been a great help to me.

In the past I have also worked behind the scenes on another forum and appreciate the effort it takes to keep this up and running.

Thank you for steering this ship for the last couple of decades and if there is anything I can do to assist you and help you continue to captain this 250+ crew of Tiger owners and enthusiasts please ask. I am happy to help you behind the scenes.

Finally I agree that an annual membership is a good idea. £10 each once a year is not a lot. (Less than 20p a week) I pay this on another forum and have done for many years.
I am happy to assist with this if needed.

Thanks again for everything you have done for the TOC.

Cheers
Steve


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BCR_AK

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Reply with quote  #13 
Hi Paul,

I echo all the comments above - thanks for all your efforts keeping this forum going. I've only recently become re-active on my build and the forum, but of course happy to contribute some funds once again.

Cheers,

Anoop 

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Abe

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Reply with quote  #14 
Another thought Paul... could you have a few moderators and share the workload as a team?
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rickwatton

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Reply with quote  #15 
Morning, not used this as much recently (probably because it's easier to just jump on a Facebook page) but if I need some real help and information with the car this is the go to place rather than a piss taking social group. Thanks for what you have done in the past and hopefully in the future Paul and I am happy to contribute if it helps.
Rick
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JT

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Reply with quote  #16 
That's a good idea.
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Dord

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Reply with quote  #17 
Hmm I have to admit I also never thought of the cost involved with running a forum that’s due to my own ignorance of ever running one, but as said before an annual subscription would sort out the finances but that does not solve the issue of your despondency with the group as a whole.
It’s a shame people feel the need to be insulting, although I have never witnessed any Abusive posts here myself. We should be open to useful, valid criticism but it should be worded in as friendly a manner as possible.
Again as said before maybe sharing moderator responsibility is the way forward and a guide regarding abusive consent of posts

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Abe

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Reply with quote  #18 
My subscription has just expired on the Locost forum... there’s a red reminder bar when I log in. It’s distracting enough and a good reminder to get me to subscribe for another year. Something similar maybe?

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Monster_UK

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Reply with quote  #19 
Hi Paul,

First and foremost a big thank you for all of your work. 

I'm a new(ish) Tiger owner and I have benefitted massively from this forum and from your insightful replies to my posts.  I stumbled across your webpage before I realised that it was yours (if that makes sense!) and thought, when reading the comments, it's really sad that someone who has taken so much time and effort to compile such a wonderful resource should be made to feel they need to take parts of it down and/or remove the contact functionality.  It's a sad world we live in...

I'm as guilty as the next person for not contributing, I intended to but didn't ever get around to sending the money off.  I feel a bit ashamed about that now.

I recently joined the NWKCOG and associated groups which are hosted on facebook and WhatsApp.  Whilst the future might see an increase in these more 'dynamic' platforms, and they do have their advantages, there will always be a need, in my view, for a forum and the type of resource offered here.  Particularly one that is well moderated (as this forum has been). I feel quite passionately about this.  It would be a real loss to the community, and the legacy built up over the years, if this stopped.

I think Abe's suggestion of moderators is a good one and something that should be built on in the future.  

I don't have anywhere near the depth of knowledge about Tigers and mechanics as others on the forum.  This makes me a little bit nervous... but I wouldn't want to see this resource lost.  I'd certainly be happy in playing a part in securing the future of the forum. I'm very open to what that role would be.

I do believe that what ever we do moving forward needs to have the support of the community of users and, if possible, your blessing too.  Most, perfectly understandably, would just like to see things carry on as they are (why wouldn't we it's been great!).  One of the challenges I suspect we will have in legacy planning is that you have done the job of admin/owner/bankroller so competently and quietly that few of us will have a full understanding of what it takes to keep the forum running.  It would be important for us to scope this out.  I also wonder if you would you be willing to have a hand over period and help guide whoever takes the role on for 3 or 4 months?  

Everyone else, I think it is up to us to come up with a proposal that makes Paul feel he able to confidently hand over the keys to this particular (important) ship!

I think this is a long winded way of me putting my hand up.  I sense Abe's is up too.  Is there anyone else who is interested?  We can then get together to thrash through a proposal of how to proceed.  I'd take no offense whatsoever if the community felt that I wasn't qualified or appropriate to be involved in the future.

Thanks,

Tim

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GurstonTiger

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Reply with quote  #20 
Paul, thanks for all the work, effort and money you have put in behind the scenes to keep the forum running. I don't think all of us realise what it costs to maintain a forum.

As others have said above, I agree with the idea that the moderation of the forum could be shared among some key dedicated and passionate individuals to help reduce individual workload.

I was shocked that you had to put in so much of your own money to keep the forum running. Evidently contributions/revenue generation needs to be improved. Annual subscriptions may help to some extent but I dont know if that would be hard to enforce or not and though it is only a very small amount I don't think we want to put people off signing up and getting involved.

Have other revenue channels been explored? Getting insurance or parts suppliers to contribute/sponsor? I know this is a national club but what about an annual get together like the national kit car show where we can all put money in a jar?

As Tim has said, social media has its advantages but as he also points out forums have their uses as well. In my opinion this forum is so much easier to navigate than a facebook group due to the categories etc. This forum is a valuable resource with a rich database and history so I think its vital that we keep it going.

Thanks,

GT


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TOC_Admin

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Reply with quote  #21 
Thank you all for the feedback, I am currently considering options and will then try and summarise and then offer them as a vote.

Below is a bit of a brain dump, so apologies in advance.


Assistance with the moderation side of things would be useful as the main tasks are around checking and editing posts.  These stem from the fact that the forum host doesn't allow restoring edited or deleted posts and, in the past, we've had people deleting or editing their posts and removing invaluable information in the process.  So, in order to protect the knowledge, we have limited editing and deleting of posts.


The idea of recurring subscriptions is also an interesting one, but the current forum host can only do this if you have a PayPal business account.  When I last looked, despite having a business bank account, PayPal wouldn't let me set up a business account with them as we weren't VAT registered, weren't registered with Companies House or didn't have a registered charity number - none of which are required for a community organisation whose profits (if ever there were any) have to go back into the community they're serving.

Other forums I am on have counters at the top showing monthly donations towards a target, again this would be a useful feature, but would probably mean moving away from the current provider.


In short, a lot of the limitations and aggravation is caused by the current forum provider and the lack of control a hosted solution offers.  In order to migrate there is the time and effort to get users / posts / threads migrated it would require more maintenance (upgrades etc.) and then potential costs for the forum software.  Does anyone have any experiences running on other forum software as there are lots of free options as well as the "Rolls Royce" option of vBulletin at £200-300 outright?
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Abe

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TOC_Admin
Thank you all for the feedback, I am currently considering options and will then try and summarise and then offer them as a vote.

Below is a bit of a brain dump, so apologies in advance.


Assistance with the moderation side of things would be useful as the main tasks are around checking and editing posts.  These stem from the fact that the forum host doesn't allow restoring edited or deleted posts and, in the past, we've had people deleting or editing their posts and removing invaluable information in the process.  So, in order to protect the knowledge, we have limited editing and deleting of posts.


The idea of recurring subscriptions is also an interesting one, but the current forum host can only do this if you have a PayPal business account.  When I last looked, despite having a business bank account, PayPal wouldn't let me set up a business account with them as we weren't VAT registered, weren't registered with Companies House or didn't have a registered charity number - none of which are required for a community organisation whose profits (if ever there were any) have to go back into the community they're serving.

Other forums I am on have counters at the top showing monthly donations towards a target, again this would be a useful feature, but would probably mean moving away from the current provider.


In short, a lot of the limitations and aggravation is caused by the current forum provider and the lack of control a hosted solution offers.  In order to migrate there is the time and effort to get users / posts / threads migrated it would require more maintenance (upgrades etc.) and then potential costs for the forum software.  Does anyone have any experiences running on other forum software as there are lots of free options as well as the "Rolls Royce" option of vBulletin at £200-300 outright?


Sorry Paul I don’t have any experience of running a forum so can’t give any advice.
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Dord

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Reply with quote  #23 
Paul could we just pay annual subs direct into your private PayPal account? Or does it need to be more formal than that
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Reply with quote  #24 
Agree with the others re this forum and would happily pay a subscription, but understand if the hassle of running the forum is too much. I barely have time to look at all of the new posts!
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Stargazer

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Reply with quote  #25 

Hi All,

My apologies that I'm only coming late to this thread. I've been a member on here for a relatively long time (2009!) and although I don't post too often, I find the forum to be an excellent way of seeing how others have solved problems or issues, amongst all of the other general chit chat. 


I have to say that I used to regularly send a donation and then I subsequently lapsed, partly my memory and partly my not picking up on the annual donation when I should have done. I had no idea of the actual costs!

As others have said, I'd be very happy to support an annual subscription, albeit that I don't have the time or knowledge to get involved in running the forum, but I am very happy to contribute to keep this excellent forum going for the future.


All the best,

Paul.


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